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Merrero vs Bocar Petitioner Gerardo Merrero and respondent Juan L.

Bocar were candidates for membership of the national assembly from the third district of the Province of Samar. As a result of the canvass of votes cast in the election, the provincial board of canvassers proclaimed the election of respondent Bocar with a total of 5,213 votes as against 4,350 vote cast for the petitioner Morrero. Bocar took the oath of office on November 15, 1935. Shortly, Thereafter, Morrero filed with the Electoral Commission a protest alleging, among other things: That the protestee, Juan L. Bocar, was born sometimes in May, 1906, and consequently, he was not thirty years of age or over as required by Article VI, section 2, of the Constitution of the Philippines at the time of his election as Member of the national assembly; nor will he have attained the age required by the said Constitution at the beginning of his term of office, upon the issuance of the proclamation by the President of the united States, announcing the results of the election, which will be made to coincide with the inauguration of the commonwealth of the Philippines on November 15, 1935; and that he was, therefore, ineligible for election and to assume office as Member of the National Assembly. Morrero prayed "that this Honorable Electoral Commission declares the protestee, Juan L. Bocar, ineligible for the office of Member of the National Assembly and his election to said office null and void; and that the herein protestant, Gerardo Morrero, be declared the duly elected Member of the national Assembly, giving him such other remedy as may be deemed just and equitable in the premises." After due hearing, the Electoral Commission dismissed the protest. The real object of the present petition is to have this court review the decision of the Electoral commission and "issue an order prohibiting the respondent Auditor general from passing in audit or authorizing in any way the disbursement of funds of the national Assembly as emoluments for the respondent, Juan L. Bocar, and declaring that the latter is without right to continue holding the office of member of the National Assembly from the 3rd district of Samar." Section 4 of Article VI of the Constitution provides that ". . . The Electoral Commission shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of the Members of the National Assembly." The language of this provisions is clear. It vests in the Electoral Commission exclusive jurisdiction to pass upon the qualifications of a member of the national Assembly. The judgment rendered by the commission in the exercise of such an acknowledged power is beyond judicial interference, except, in any event, "upon a clear showing of such arbitrary and improvident use of the power as will constitute a denial of due process of law." (Barry vs. United States ex rel. Cunningham, 279 U. S., 597; 73 Law. ed., 867, Angara vs. Electoral Commission, 35 Off. Gaz., 23.) The decision involved in this proceeding was rendered by the Electoral Commission after due hearing. The petition in this case is dismissed with costs, So ordered

Aznar vs HRET Private respondent Emilio Lito Osmea filed his certificate of candidacywith the COMELEC for the position of Provincial Governor of Cebu Province.The Cebut PDP -Laban Provincial Council, as represented by petitioner Jose A z n a r i n h i s c a p a c i t y a s i t s i n c u m b e n t P r o v i n c i a l C h a i r m a n , f i l e d w i t h t h e COMELEC a petition for the disqualification of private respondent on the groundthat he is allegedly not a Filipino citizen, being a citizen of the United States of America.COMELEC dismissed the petition for disqualification for not having been timelyf i l e d a n d f o r l a c k o f s u f f i c i e n t p r o o f t h a t p r i v a t e r e s p o n d e n t i s n o t a F i l i p i n o citizen. Hence, the present petition. Issue: WON Osmea is a Filipino citizen Held: Wherefore, the petition for certiorari is dismissed. Parenthetically, the statement in the 1987 Constitution that dual allegiance of citizen is inimical tot h e n a t i o n a l i n t e r e s t a n d s h a l l b e d e a l t w i t h b y l a w . ( A r t I V , S e c 5 ) h a s n o retroactive effect. Be it noted further that under the aforecited proviso, the effectof such dual citizenship or allegiance shall be dealt with by a future law. Said lawhas not yet been enacted. Thus, private respondent remains a Filipino and theloss of his Philippine citizenship cannot be presumed

Bondoc vs Pineda FACTS: Pineda and Bondoc were rival candidates as Representatives of the 4th district. Pineda won in the elections, prompting Bondoc to file a protest with the HRET, which decided in favor of the latter. However, before promulgation of the decision, Congressman Camasuras membership with the HRET was withdrawn on the ground that he was expelled from the LDP. As such, the decision could not be promulgated since without Congressman Camasuras vote, the deicison lacks the concurrence of 5 members as required by the Rules of the Tribunal. ISSUES:

Whether or not the House of Representatives can issue a resolution compelling HRET not to promulgate its decision Whether or not the composition of the HRET may be affected by a change in the political alliance of its members

RULING: HRET is a non-political body The use of the word "sole" in both Section 17 of the 1987 Constitution and Section 11 of the 1935 Constitution underscores the exclusive jurisdiction of the House Electoral Tribunal as judge of contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the members of the House of Representatives (Robles vs. House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal, G.R. No. 86647, February 5, 1990). The tribunal was created to function as a nonpartisan court although two-thirds of its members are politicians. It is a non-political body in a sea of politicians. What this Court had earlier said about the Electoral Commission applies as well to the electoral tribunals of the Senate and House of Representatives: Electoral tribunals are independent and impartial The purpose of the constitutional convention creating the Electoral Commission was to provide an independent and impartial tribunal for the determination of contests to legislative office, devoid of partisan consideration, and to transfer to that tribunal all the powers previously exercised by the legislature in matters pertaining to contested elections of its members. The power granted to the electoral Commission to judge contests relating to the election and qualification of members of the National Assembly is intended to be as complete and unimpaired as if it had remained in the legislature.

Electoral tribunals as sole judge of all contests relating to election returns and qualifications of members of the legislative houses The Electoral Tribunals of the Senate and the House were created by the Constitution as special tribunals to be the sole judge of all contests relating to election returns and qualifications of members of the legislative houses, and, as such, are independent bodies which must be permitted to select their own employees, and to supervise and control them, without any legislative interference. (Suanes vs. Chief Accountant of the Senate, 81 Phil. 818.) To be able to exercise exclusive jurisdiction, the House Electoral Tribunal must be independent. Its jurisdiction to hear and decide congressional election contests is not to be shared by it with the Legislature nor with the Courts. The Electoral Commission is a body separate from and independent of the legislature and though not a power in the tripartite scheme of government, it is to all intents and purposes, when acting within the limits of its authority, an independent organ; while composed of a majority of members of the legislature it is a body separate from and independent of the legislature.

Sampayan vs Daza

FACTS: Petitioners filed a petition seeking to disqualify Daza, then incumbent congressman of their congressional district in Makati, from continuing to exercise the functions of his office on the ground that the latter is a greencard holder and a lawful permanent resident of the United States. They also alleged that Mr. Daza has not by any act or declaration renounced his status as permanent resident thereby violating the Omnibus Election Code (Section 68) and the 1987 Constitution (section 18, Article III). Respondent Congressman filed his Comment denying the fact that he is a permanent resident of the United States as evidenced by a letter order of the US Immigration and Naturalization Service, Los Angeles, U.S.A, he had long waived his status when he returned to the Philippines on August 12, 1985. ISSUE:

Whether or not respondent Daza should be disqualified as a member of the House of Representatives for violation of Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code

RULING: The Supreme Court vote to dismiss the instant case, first, the case is moot and academic for it is evident from the manifestation filed by petitioners dated April 6, 1992, that they seek to unseat the respondent from his position as Congressman for the duration of his term of office commencing June 30, 1987 and ending June 30, 1992. Secondly, jurisdiction of this case rightfully pertains to the House Electoral Tribunal. Under Section 17 of Article VI of the 1987 Constitution, it is the House Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election returns and qualification of its members The petitioners appropriate remedy should have been to file a petition to cancel respondent Dazas certificate of candidacy before the election or a quo warranto case with the House of Electoral Tribunal within ten days after Dazas proclamation.

Pimentel, et al. v. Commission on Appointments

Facts: On 3 March 1995, the Party-List System Act took effect. On 11 May 1998, in accordance with the Party-List System Act, national elections were held which included, for the first time, the election through popular vote of party-list groups and organizations whose nominees would become members of the House. Proclaimed winners were 14 party-list representatives from 13 organizations, including Melvyn D. Eballe, Leonardo Q. Montemayor, Cresente C. Paez, Loretta Ann P. Rosales and Patricia M. Sarenas from party-list groups Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives[5] (APEC), Alyansang Bayanihan ng mga Magsasaka, Manggagawang Bukid at Mangingisda (ABA), NATCO Network Party (COOP-NATCCO), Akbayan! Citizens Action Party (AKBAYAN), and Abanse! Pinay (ABANSE). Due to the votes it garnered, APEC was able to send 2 representatives to the House, while the 12 other party-list groups had one representative each. Also elected were district representatives belonging to various political parties. Subsequently, the House constituted its HRET and CA contingent by electing its representatives to these two constitutional bodies. In practice, the procedure involves the nomination by the political parties of House members who are to occupy seats in the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) and the Commission on Appointments (CA). From available records, it does not appear that after the 11 May 1998 elections the party-list groups in the House nominated any of their representatives to the HRET or the CA. As of the date of filing of the present petitions for prohibition and mandamus with prayer for writ of preliminary injunction, the House contingents to the HRET and the CA were composed solely of district representatives belonging to the different political parties. On 18 January 2000, Senator Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. wrote two letters addressed to then Senate President Blas F. Ople, as Chairman of the CA, and to Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Jose A. R. Melo (now retired), as Chairman of the HRET. The letters requested Senate President Ople and Justice Melo to cause the restructuring of the CA and the HRET, respectively, to include party-list representatives to conform to Sections 17 and 18, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. In its meeting of 20 January 2000, the HRET resolved to direct the Secretary of the Tribunal to refer Senator Pimentels letter to the Secretary-General of the House of Representatives. On the same day, HRET Secretary Daisy B. PangaVega, in an Indorsement of even date, referred the letter to House of Representatives Secretary General Roberto P. Nazareno. On 2 February 2000, Eballe, et al. filed with this Court their Petitions for Prohibition, Mandamus and Preliminary Injunction (with Prayer for Temporary Restraining Order) against the HRET, its Chairman and Members, and against the CA, its Chairman and Members. They contend that, under the Constitution and the Party-List System Act, party-list representatives should have 1.2 or at least 1 seat in the HRET, and 2.4 seats in the CA. They charge that the HRET, CA, et al. committed grave abuse of discretion in refusing to act positively on the letter of Senator Pimentel. In its Resolution of 8 February 2000, the Court en banc directed the consolidation of GR 141490 with GR 141489. On 11 February 2000, Eballe et al. filed in both cases a motion to amend their petitions to implead then Speaker Manuel B. Villar, Jr. as an additional respondent, in his capacity as Speaker of the House and as one of the members of the CA. The Court granted both motions and admitted the amended petitions. Senator Pimentel filed the present petitions on the strength of his oath to protect, defend and uphold the Constitution and in his capacity as taxpayer and as a member of the CA. He

was joined by 5 party-list representatives from APEC, ABA, ABANSE, AKBAYAN and COOP-NATCCO as copetitioners.

Issue: [1] Whether the present composition of the House Electoral Tribunal violates the constitutional requirement of proportional representation because there are no party-list representatives in the HRET. [2]: Whether the refusal of the HRET and the CA to reconstitute themselves to include party-list representatives constitutes grave abuse of discretion. Held: [1] NO. The Constitution expressly grants to the House of Representatives the prerogative, within constitutionally defined limits, to choose from among its district and party-list representatives those who may occupy the seats allotted to the House in the HRET and the CA. Section 18, Article VI of the Constitution explicitly confers on the Senate and on the House the authority to elect among their members those who would fill the 12 seats for Senators and 12 seats for House members in the Commission on Appointments. Under Section 17, Article VI of the Constitution, each chamber of Congress exercises the power to choose, within constitutionally defined limits, who among their members would occupy the allotted 6 seats of each chambers respective electoral tribunal. These constitutional provisions are reiterated in Rules 3 and 4 (a) of the 1998 Rules of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal. The discretion of the House to choose its members to the HRET and the CA is not absolute, being subject to the mandatory constitutional rule on proportional representation.[26] However, under the doctrine of separation of powers, the Court may not interfere with the exercise by the House of this constitutionally mandated duty, absent a clear violation of the Constitution or grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.[27] Otherwise, the doctrine of separation of powers calls for each branch of government to be left alone to discharge its duties as it sees fit.[28] Neither can the Court speculate on what action the House may take if party-list representatives are duly nominated for membership in the HRET and the CA. The petitions are bereft of any allegation that respondents prevented the party-list groups in the House from participating in the election of members of the HRET and the CA. Neither does it appear that after the 11 May 1998 elections, the House barred the party-list representatives from seeking membership in the HRET or the CA. Rather, it appears from the available facts that the party-list groups in the House at that time simply refrained from participating in the election process. The party-list representatives did not designate their nominees even up to the time they filed the petitions, with the predictable result that the House did not consider any party-list representative for election to the HRET or the CA. As the primary recourse of the party-list representatives lies with the House of Representatives, the Court cannot resolve the issues presented by petitioners at this time. [2]: There is no grave abuse in the action or lack of action by the HRET and the CA in response to the letters of Senator Pimentel. Under Sections 17 and 18 of Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and their internal rules, the HRET and the CA are bereft of any power to reconstitute themselves